In 2020, lockdown restrictions were imposed across the world and shut down non-essential travel. Planes were grounded, airports emptied, and the UK’s motorways went quiet. Remote working measures meant commuters no longer needed to spend hours every day on public transport. As pandemic restrictions begin to lift and transport systems re-open, we are likely to see a significant shift in how transport systems operate.
The Department for Transport released their latest figures on travel trends in the UK – and, as predicted, there has been a massive change in the way we travel. Compared to pre-pandemic statistics, there were 27% fewer private vehicles on the roads and a staggering 68% decrease in public transport passengers. These figures reference the period between March 2020 and March 2021.
The Department also found that we could see almost a million fewer cars on the road than pre-pandemic levels. There are 2.6% fewer people using public transport as their primary transport method. The British public appears to be opting for walking and cycling over travelling in a vehicle. These methods of transport are outdoors and perfect for squeezing in some extra exercise between events. Walkers and cyclists are ‘vulnerable road users’ so please proceed with caution on your journeys out and about. If you experience an accident that wasn’t your fault, consult a personal injury lawyer for advice.
In the last year, the UK public has only been able to carry out essential travel in their local area – for the most part. Walking and cycling are perfect for getting to an event not too far from home.
With only essential travel allowed, the UK’s roads have been much clearer. There has been a considerable decline in the amount of pollution in major cities and traffic. As offices open back up, many UK workers are keen to try new ways to travel to work.
Some employers are offering a flexible approach to work in the next year so that employees can work from home and the office. This flexible approach will help to minimise traffic and pollution while encouraging a healthy work-life balance. Employees can spend more time with their families at home and cherish their memories. Instead of spending two hours commuting every day, they can squeeze in a morning workout or extra cuddle with their children.
Walking and cycling are excellent ways to get around and support the environment. As restrictions ease and life returns to normal, think about how you can make better changes to your travel regime.